Scammers are trying to capitalize on the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program by setting up illegitimate websites that ask for payments in return for devices and services. The FCC has issued the following consumer advisory:
The FCC recently became aware of a website purportedly run by “WiFi Freedom USA” that mimics the legitimate Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment site, GetEmergencyBroadband.org. This website falsely claimed to administer the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, including offering connected devices and services. The FCC and USAC immediately took steps to have the website disabled and the known social media page removed. The FCC is now working with law enforcement agencies to address this issue.
The FCC strongly advises consumers to only use the official Emergency Broadband Benefit website, GetEmergencyBroadband.org, to enroll in the program. Consumers can also contact a participating provider directly, but they should first verify that a provider is approved to participate in the program by visiting https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers and searching by their state or territory. Consumers can also apply by mail using a paper application.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and GetEmergencyBroadband.org are administered by USAC on behalf of the FCC.
The WiFi Freedom USA website falsely claimed that it can provide consumers with free devices and services related to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Consumers may have also seen advertisements for WiFi Freedom USA’s website on social media platforms.
If you provided your personal information to WiFi Freedom USA, visit IdentityTheft.gov. If you made any payments to WiFi Freedom USA, please contact your financial institution to see if there are any remedies available to you. You can file a report about government imposter fraud with the Federal Trade Commission at Reportfraud.ftc.gov and get information about how to recover any money you paid.
Note: TDS is an Emergency Broadband Benefit provider. For more information, read our official release.